From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2004:
MONTREAL–Authorized by Ottawa to kill 350,000 harp seals in
2004, Atlantic Canadian offshore sealers killed so aggressively that
the Department of Fisheries & Oceans on April 14 closed the
large-vessel hunt only 48 hours after it started, suspecting that
the large-vessel quota of 246,900 had already been reached.
Again this year, as in each of the past five years,
International Fund for Animal Welfare observers led by Newfoundland
native Rebecca Aldworth obtained extensive video of sealers skinning
seal pups who were still thrashing and dragging live seals on hooks.
Again this year DFO denied that the writhing seals were still alive.
Sealers and DFO spokespersons boasted of rising global demand
for seal pelts, reportedly wholesaling at about $50 Canadian apiece.
But the evidence was ambiguous–and $50 in Canadian money has only
about half the buying power today that it had more than 20 years ago,
when seal pelt prices last were in that range.
“The landed value of last year’s seal hunt accounted for less
than one tenth of 1% of Newfoundland economy, nowhere near the
figures claimed by the sealing industry,” IFAW president Fred
O’Regan wrote to The New York Times. “Lasting solutions to the
economic challenges facing Atlantic Canada require more than
subsidizing the slaughter of nearly a million seals in the next three